For the Buffalo Bills and their fresh start, this was supposed to be the New Era, the Tyrod Taylor Era, except the ravenous Baltimore team put a lid on it 13-7. All the chatter and buzz about a fast start and an explosive offense with a franchise quarterback fizzled immediately. Hey, is this thing on? T Mobile was barely heard from.
Unfortunately, Tyrod is the franchise quarterback of this particular franchise.
The Bills, as is their recent history, took one step up and two steps back, especially Reggie Bush, who took three steps back virtually every play he was in. Shady McCoy looked explosive but was unable to break tackles or make defenders miss in the open field and the running game lacked pop, and yardage. Missing was the change of pace big back who runs straight and hard, like Karlos (Muttonhead) Williams last year, and Jonathan Williams is supposed to do this year but was out with sore ribs. JWill is willing but unable and was sorely needed.
Tyrod struggled mightily and was having trouble completing even the easy passes. He was inaccurate if not ill-prepared all day, even on several completions. Just before Dan Crapenter’s missed 49 yard FG, Tyrod threw a bad pass to an open Robert Woods on 3rd down. A decent pass gains at least five more yards and the 49 yard FG missed is probably a 44 yard FG made.
Taylor didn’t look to run, which is the way he scares defenses the most. The second way is the deep ball, which he didn’t do once either. Roman didn’t call zone reads, and we can only assume it was to not expose Tyrod to hits, but it eliminates why he is so good. Taylor did make one spectacular play that set up the Bills’ lone score but it simply wasn’t enough. There were numerous plays throughout the game where Sammy had single coverage and Roman and Taylor simply MUST get the ball to him. I thought that was made clear last year. Six targets are six too few.
Watkins looked fast although the Ravens played him tight. The Bills did not throw the ball downfield once the entire game, to anyone, which is criminally negligent. There are all kinds of rumors, theories and nonsense concerning Sammy and his sore hoof, but he says he’s fine and he’s playing full speed Thursday, and we’ll just have to wait and see how the pain affects his actual play.
Greg Roman had perhaps his worst game since becoming the Bills uncoordinator. The offense was clumsy, disoriented, and looked more in stink than in sync. Plays inexcusably took forever to get in from the sidelines, something that killed the Bills’ defense last year. There was no push in the run game. Pass protection was consistently erratic. The play-calling was uninventive and therefore uneventful. The starting five linemen were back together from last year but didn’t spend much time together in preseason and were rusty. The Ravens front seven simply outmuscled and outplayed them.
Penalties and refs continue to plague the team and it’s not even worth discussing anymore. Teams make their own breaks and own luck and I guess the Bills just need to start winning and not being dicks on the field in order to start getting the calls.
Likewise, injuries continue to kill this cursed team. Cordy Glenn, who we cannot afford to lose, was lost for the second half after re-injuring his high ankle sprain. Sammy’s is unknown but we cannot afford him gone, although if Tyrod doesn’t throw him the ball it doesn’t really matter, the team cannot win.
The Ryan Brothers’ defense, however, was stout. The Bills had four sacks and only gave up one big play. Justin Forsett was forsed right into the turf. Their three-headed monster running back got repeatedly body slammed.
Joe Flacid could barely stay erect long enough to throw limp passes.
Jerry Hughes, who is primed for a monster year, had two sacks and a couple of hurries along with his requisite two brainfarts. Aldolphus Washington looked quick off the snap and Kyle Williams looked most of the way back. The linebackers were solid and quick to the ballcarrier.
Other than missing a few tackles and getting dragged an extra yard or two a few times, Rex’s defense was formidable.
Stephon Gilmore and Ron Darby shut down Steve Smith, Sr., who brings whole new meaning to the term “senior,” and even had a senior moment or two. Even when you dog and shut down Steve Smith you cannot shut him up as he was seen barking all day. 19 yards on 5 catches can do that to you.
Aaron Williams was back but not ready to play a whole game. It hurts the Bills when Dukey Williams, so named because he plays like it, was in for Aaron and get beat by Mike Wallet, who usually steals money from teams but stole the game on one play from the Bills.
But alas, there is no rest for the woozy as the Bills get right back to action in the Thursday Night Game against the New Jersey Jets, who also got shot down in their opener. The Jets will actually don new jerseys as it’s another Color Rush game which confused and abused Color Blind people last year, unable to distinguish between two crappy teams unable to put it all together.
TNF is at the newly named “New Era Field,” so hopefully not the same ol’ same ol’. Come on down and blow the lid off Busby’s for the Bills first win and first sign of life in the new season. Let the new Tyrod Era finally begin.
It took week one off.